Meet Adriana Botti, Founder of Little Words Project. What are “Little Words?” They are bracelets, but they are so much more! They are a way to inspire, and to pay it forward by sharing that inspiration. We love Adriana’s bracelets (and would totally wear them), but even more we love their message and the drive and determination with which she has pursued her passion. Adriana Botti, thank you for sharing your story with us.
What inspired you to start your company? I was inspired by my experiences growing up as a young girl often dealing with girl-on-girl cruelty. While my company doesn’t live on the “anti-bullying” platform, it is a big inspiration behind why I started it. I came up with the idea for the bracelet itself while I was a sophomore at The College of New Jersey. As the Vice President of Membership, I had needed a way to “keep the love circulating” in my sorority, Delta Zeta. So, I brought in the first batch of bracelets (then referred to as “warm fuzzies”) and told the girls to share them amongst themselves as the needs arose. As I watched that little idea take off and eventually become a defining characteristic of my organization back then, it occurred to me that this idea, if taken to the masses, could do wonders for female-to-female interaction. I couldn’t help but imagine my young self, and wonder how much better I’d have felt if another girl had seen what I was going through, and passed me her own Little Word. I knew that the simple, selfless act of removing something from your person and giving it to someone else, would speak volumes and just maybe, aid in changing the way girls treat one another. What are your goals for the company? My goals, as always, are anything but modest. I personally would like to see this company grow until it’s as large or larger than other popular jewelry brands out there (think Live Lokai, Alex & Ani, Pura Vida). Since starting the business, we’ve seen unbelievable growth in sales in the past two years, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I hope to one day see women everywhere in our bracelets, carrying with them vehicles of kindness directly on their wrists, constantly seeking out the next person in need of a spirit-boost. If everyone got behind our mission, and wore our bracelets with the intention of helping others, I truly feel we could make “Girl-World” a better place. Have you found it challenging to be taken seriously as such a young entrepreneur? Yes, I definitely have found it challenging to say the least. When I first started out, I was 23. While most people had always viewed me as a mature, confident young woman, those very people questioned my ability to start a full-blown company. To this day, people still ask me things like “Are you profitable yet?” Or when they hear what I do they say “Aw that’s cute…” I know they don’t mean any harm by their comments, but I can’t help but feel like I’m not being taken seriously. As is the case with all external doubt, however, all it does is fuel my fire. What would you say to young women who were in your shoes a few years ago? I would say GO FOR IT. All caps. Don’t let anything stop you from going after that one nagging, gut desire. Even if it’s not something you ever thought you’d wanted to do. Just do it. Literally, if you love to write, and you can’t get this book idea out of your head…what are you waiting for? Sit down and write it. There should be no reason that you can’t at least try and go after your dream. If it doesn’t end up panning out, that’s okay! The process it took to get you this far will yield unparalleled experience that you can one day translate to another role doing something else you love. What makes you feel confident? That’s a great question, and one I don’t honestly know the answer to. The truth is, I don’t always necessarily feel confident. Most of the time, I feel self-doubt and I question certain decisions, but I take the plunge and do them anyway. The fact is, while I don’t always feel 100% confident in my decision making (since I’m new to basically everything I’m doing), I am 100% confident that things will work out as they should. And I get that confidence simply by looking back at everything I’ve accomplished thus far. Having gone from a young girl/young woman being bullied by nearly every girl I came in contact with growing up, to a woman who started a company about kindness amongst women, I can’t help but feel that everything already has worked out as it should have, so there’s no reason it won’t in the future. If everyone took a moment to give some purpose to their past problems, they’d find that same level of confidence in what’s to come. What are some of your favorite inspiring “little words”? Oh I love them all! My favorites include “Balance,” because I really believe balance in life is SO important, especially as an entrepreneur; “Strength,” because everyone can use a little “strength” sometimes; “Laugh,” because it’s important to keep your humor in the face of adversity; and “give,” because there’s almost nothing more important than giving to those who could use a little help now and again. What does She’s Fit to Lead Mean to you? “She’s Fit to Lead” to me means not allowing societal expectations of women to prevent you from going after your dreams. It means that all people have the right to pursue whatever it is that makes them happy. It’s so easy as a girl to question whether or not you can do something simply because of what is expected of you (to eventually become a wife, mom, and caretaker), but She’s Fit to Lead reminds us that we all have it in us to become a leader. Thank you Adriana! Some of our favorite little words are #ConnectToConfidence, Inspire and Motivate, and when we look at those words, we see you! To learn more about Adriana and Little Words Project, go to littlewordsproject.com. To check out Adriana’s great Instagram (the source of many of our photos in this article), click [here].
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